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GALLERY: North And South Korean Families Reunite After Decades Apart
February 20, 2014
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Earlier today, dozens of elderly North and South Koreans who have been separated from each other since the Korean War broke out in 1950 reunited at a ceremony at North Korea's Diamond Mine Resort. About 80 South Koreans travelled through the snow for the event, where they were expected to meet about 180 family members from the North for three days together (both countries prohibit cross-border visits and communication). The reunions were the first of their kind in more than three years, and are a reflection of a recent thaw in relations between the two countries. Still, the scale of the meeting was relatively small by historical standards — AP reports a previous round saw about 22,000 Koreans reunite with their loved ones (like those reunions, today's were one-time-only). In 2000, South Korea established a lottery system for its citizens hoping to meet their estranged families, and almost 130,000 people have entered (it's not known how the North Korean government selects its families). Today's meetings almost didn't happen: earlier this month, the North threatened to pull the plug amid planned U.S.-South Korean military drills, but the two sides agreed to go ahead last week. A second set of meetings will take place this Sunday.


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